An Idea In Everything


2016 release. When David Greenberger first embarked on what has become a life-long journey, drummer Chris Corsano was not yet five years old! In 1979, after graduating from art school in Boston, Greenberger took the job of activities director at the Duplex Nursing Home, an all-male elder care facility in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, and began collecting the stories, poems and music reviews of its aged patients for what became his Duplex Planet project, an undertaking that would eventually encompass nearly 200 issues of a digest-sized magazine, a series of CDs, books, comics, and performance art. Eventually the nursing home closed, but David has remained engaged in what has become the central art form of his life: the "art of conversation." Three decades later, Chris Corsano set in motion the project present here. With guitarist and banjo player Glenn Jones, a longtime friend of both Greenberger and Corsano, the three began recording in Greenberger's living room in upstate New York. In just three days, with no advance preparation, they recorded the 28 tracks that make up An Idea In Everything. Corsano improvised, Jones invented new tunings for his banjo and guitar on the fly, and Greenberger selected and read stories in direct response to the music. Everything was spontaneous and live. Despite the dark and sad feeling of some of the texts (dealing with aging, memory loss, etc.), there is also humor, joy and grit. The resulting is a rollercoaster of emotions, a glittering patchwork of sonic atmospheres and an oral encyclopedia on dozens of subjects. David Greenberger on the release: "When newcomers hear that I have regular conversations and interviews with elderly people, they assume I collect oral history. What that assumption implies is that when one grows old we become solely a repository of our past. From the start, my mission has been to offer a range of characters who are already old, so that we can get to know them as they are in the present, without celebrating or mourning the loss of who they were before." Recorded by Chris Corsano in Greenwich, NY, February 2013; Mixed by Matthew Azevedo and Glenn Jones in Jamaica Plain, MA; Mastered by Matthew Azevedo at Endless Audio, Providence, RI. Illustration by Gwénola Carrère.